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One-Of-A-Kind Rare Albino Tortoise Born In Switzerland!

One-Of-A-Kind Rare Albino Tortoise Born In Switzerland!

5th August 2022
By: Olivia - F&F

Have you ever seen an albino tortoise? Nobody has! In an incredibly rare event, a Galápagos giant tortoise has given birth to a baby albino tortoise in a zoo in Switzerland. This extraordinary event has made headlines all around the world — so let’s discover how it happened!

Albino Baby Tortoise TropiquariumAlbino Baby Tortoise Tropiquarium

Image: Tropiquarium Zoo

It’s The First Albino Tortoise Ever Seen In The World! 

Albinism in humans is fairly uncommon; affecting around 1 in 17,000 humans. Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes the skin, hair and eyes to have very little colour, and it can also cause vision problems, too. We don’t often think about albinism in animals — mainly because it’s so rare! 

That’s why zookeepers were stunned when a female Galápagos giant tortoise gave birth to an albino tortoise at Tropiquarium, a zoo located in Switzerland! On May 1st, 2022, the tiny albino reptile hatched, along with her normal, brown-coloured sibling. The little tortoise, born in the town of Servion, weighed in at just 50 grams.  

This is the first time in the world that an albino Galápagos tortoise has been born and kept in captivity. 

Albino Baby TortoiseAlbino Baby Tortoise

Image: Tropiquarium Zoo

The Odds Of An Albino Tortoise Being Born Is 1 In 100,000 

This gorgeous little albino tortoise was born with a pale yellow shell and skin, and bright red eyes. She was born at the Tropiquarium as part of a programme to preserve the endangered species. The mother, who weighs a whopping 100 kilograms, laid her eggs on February 11th. 

The eggs spent more than two and a half months in an incubator. The baby albino tortoise truly defied the odds! The mating pair are reportedly around 30 years old, and having just met sexual maturity, produced two healthy tortoises. 

It’s estimated that the success rate of mating for Galápagos giant tortoises is around 2 per cent to 3 per cent. The most amazing part is that Albinism in tortoises is extremely rare, occurring in 1 in 100,000 animals.

Two Baby TortoiseTwo Baby Tortoise

Image: Tropiquarium Zoo

Galápagos Giant Tortoises Can Live Up To 175 Years Old! 

Did you know that the oldest tortoise in captivity lived to 175 years old? That’s right! In the wild, Galápagos giant tortoises can live for more than 100 years. It’s assumed that the secret to their long lifespans is due to the gene variants that promote a quick repair of DNA and a natural defence against cancers. They also have a very slow metabolism, which allows them to survive long periods of time without food and water.

Sadly, it’s unknown whether the baby albino tortoise will live as long as its brown-coloured counterparts. Albinism can make animals more susceptible to sun damage, and they can be more prone to health complications, like vision loss and hearing difficulties. Pale coloured animals can also make them more visible to predators, but in the case of the albino tortoise, she will be protected in the Tropiquarium in Switzerland.

How adorable is this rare, baby albino tortoise? It’s amazing to think that the baby albino Galápagos tortoise may be around for the next century, or longer!

For more feel-good eco stories just like this, check out our Eco News category and check out the blogs below.

These African Elephants Are Fighting Climate Change — By Trampling Trees!

Local Scientists Discover Rainbow-Coloured Fish In The Maldivian ‘Twilight Zone’

This Costa Rican Facility Teaches Abandoned Baby Sloths How To Live In The Wild!

By: Monica Lau , 10 August 2022 at 4:32 pm
Wow what an amazing little cutie... Have never seen an albino tortoise until now and this just makes my soul all warm and fuzzy
By: Gabby , 11 August 2022 at 7:34 am
So cute! Ours too. x

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